Minutes of the Regular Meeting of the Gurnee Planning and Zoning Board - June 18, 2014


Village of Gurnee

Planning and Zoning Board Minutes

June 18, 2014


1.  Call to Order and Roll Call

The meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m.

Planning & Zoning Board Members present: Chairman James Sula, David Nordentoft, David Ohanian, Richard McFarlane, Thomas Drake, and Sharon Salmons

Planning & Zoning Board Members absent: Edwin Paff

Other Officials present:  Bryan Winter, Village Attorney; David Ziegler, Community Development Director; Scott Drabicki, Village Engineer; Tracy Velkover, Planning Manager; Molly Booth, Associate Planner 

2.  Pledge of Allegiance

3.  Public Comment

Mr. Sula asked if anyone from the public had any questions or comments regarding anything not on the evening’s agenda.  As there were no responses, Mr. Sula then closed the floor to the public. 

4.  Approval of Planning and Zoning Board meeting minutes of June 4, 2014

A motion to approve the June 4, 2014 meeting minutes was made by Mr. Ohanian, and seconded by Ms. Salmons. 

Voice vote:

All "Ayes", no "Nays", none abstaining

Motion carried: 6-0-0

Mr. Sula noted that the next two items on the agenda are related; he stated that testimony related to both would be heard together, but that a separate motion and separate votes would be taken on each item.

5.  Public Hearing:  Zoning Map Amendment for Village of Gurnee

The Village of Gurnee is requesting to rezone an approximately 1.0 acre parcel located directly south of 1525 and 1511 Knowles Road (approximately 150 feet south of Rollins Road east of the Knowles Road right-of-way).  The property is currently zoned R-3 PUD, Single-Family as a Planned Unit Development, and is improved with a detention pond that was constructed as part of the Ravinia Woods subdivision and now owned by the Village of Gurnee.  The Village is requesting to rezone the property to the P, Public Land District.

6.  Public Hearing:  Special Use Permit for Village of Gurnee

The Village of Gurnee is requesting approval of the following items: 1) Special Use Permit for the installation of a 2-million gallon, approximately 175-foot tall Elevated Storage Tank for potable water supply and related support equipment;  2) Special Use Permit for the installation of a wireless antenna facility consisting of an approximately 170-foot tall interim Cellular Monopole with antennas, ground shelter building, and related support equipment; and 3) Such other relief as may be necessary to accomplish the applicant’s development plan.

After introduction of each item by Ms. Booth, Mr. Sula explained the process with which the matter would be dealt with: that the Petitioner will present on the requests, Board members will discuss and ask questions, and then the floor will be opened to the Public for questions/comments.  All questions and comments will be taken first and then these will be addressed by staff.   Board members will have an opportunity for further discussion before determining whether enough information has been provided in order to advance a recommendation.  He then asked that anyone having any intentions to speak on the matter be sworn in. 

After Mr. Winter performed the swearing-in, Mr. Sula introduced Mr. Ziegler, the Director of Community Development, who presented on behalf of the Village of Gurnee.

Mr. Ziegler explained that, since the Grand/Hunt development, the Village of Gurnee has received numerous complaints about water pressure in the area and findings from semi-annual studies, such as testing of fire hydrants, etc., support that water pressure could be higher to provide better service.   He noted two major benefits offered by the new elevated storage tank: 1) increased water storage (the tank will hold the recommended amount of water storage of twice the average daily water usage and then some); and 2) creation of a new pressure zone in the water system that translates into higher water pressure for residents and firefighters.  The parcel was identified and purchased from Lake County Division of Transportation (LCDOT) as an excess parcel as a result of the Rollins Road extension around 2006-07.  The site was chosen because of its elevation, good buffer (Rollins Road to the north, detention to the east and south), existing 12-inch diameter water mains to service the site, and good access to Rollins Road.

He explained that the request is being made at this time, even though the Village does not have plans to construct the water tower for 3-5 years, because the Village received a  request from AT&T to erect a cellular monopole on the west side of town.  The Village’s cell tower ordinance, promotes the use of existing tall structures and not new monopole towers.  Typically, the Village partners with cell companies to locate on existing water towers.  Since a water tower is proposed at this site, the request is to allow the construction of a 170-foot tall interim monopole structure for AT&T’s antennas and possible future cell carriers’ antennas, until such time as the water tower is constructed.  At that time, the monopole structure would be removed and all cell antennas located on the monopole would be moved over to the water tower.  Mr. Ziegler wrapped up his presentation, and advised that Mr. Drabicki was there as well to help answer any questions. 

Mr. Ohanian asked how far the cell tower would be from the nearest home. 

Mr. Ziegler responded that the cell tower structure would be approximately 200 feet from the single-family homes, and noted that it meets the required setback. 

Mr. Nordentoft inquired about the height of the water tower.

Mr. Ziegler responded that the height of the tower is what helps create the desired water pressure.

Ms. Salmons asked if there was another open site that could be used instead of this location.

Mr. Ziegler responded that most of the Hunt/Grand area is residential, and that this site was ideal because of its access, elevation, and existing water mains. 

Ms. Salmons also asked if attaching AT&T’s equipment to the water tower would increase the height of the tower.

Mr. Ziegler responded that it would not increase the actual height of the structure, but would add height by projecting relatively small antennas from the structure by about eight feet.

Mr. Sula then opened the floor to the public.

Andy (Ron) Havaly, 1436 Sutton Place, expressed concern over further loss of property value in his neighborhood as a result of this project.  He stated that he feels the neighborhood has taken the brunt of development/infrastructure in the area--citing recent business developments, Rollins Road extension, and powers lines located nearby.  He also expressed concern over the size of the proposed site, noting that the nearest homes would be only 200 feet away.  He questioned whether the Village had conducted due diligence in considering other sites that could be used for this project; sites that would have less impact on the value of people’s homes.

Marie De La Cruz, 1552 Greystone Drive, stated that she and her family moved into the neighborhood because of its aesthetics.  She stated that she feels the value of the "upscale" homes in the area will be negatively affected by this project.  She brought along her realtor, Mary Lou Le Boeuf of @Properties.

Mary Lou Le Boeuf, with @Properties, stated that property values would decrease as a result of the proposed project.  She noted that she is a realtor with over 20 years of experience in Gurnee.

Dave Pettinger, 1601 St. Clair Court, from the Greystone Townhome Association, stated that he does not feel the Village is taking the correct approach for this project.  He is concerned about the project’s effect on views, traffic, and aesthetics in the neighborhood.

Aronson Briskman, 1491 Smythe Court, stated that he just purchased his home recently and in his search for a new home, he actually avoided properties in which a water tower was located because of a concern over its impact on property values.   

Mike Shannon, 1687 Napa Drive in Elysian Fields, who is a member of the Elysian Fields Homeowners Association Board, inquired as to what other site(s) had been considered.  He also asked if there would be a beacon light on the water tower.  He questioned why he did not receive the letter that some other residents in the area received giving notice of the proposed hearing. 

Lucy Devries, 18789 Marian Drive, asked where the access road would be to get to the property.

Bob Bergman, 1567 Vineyard Drive, expressed concern over what his view would be from his house, noting that sight-line issues have been created elsewhere in the community by raising elevations.  He also stated that, due to F.A.A. requirements, there would likely be lights and beacons on the tower due to its height.  He also questioned whether or not the water stored in the tank would ever be used elsewhere than Gurnee.  He pointed out that townhomes in the neighborhood had been constructed without the correct setbacks, and wondered if other similar problems would occur as a result of this project. 

Jim Devries, 18789 Marian Drive, complained about the glare of car headlights from Rollins Road into his home, as well as the view of the Lowe’s sign.  He asked if wireless cells would pose a risk to the community and the people nearby. 

Martin Engle, 18841 W. Marian Drive, asked if any of the areas affected by low water pressure are near the proposed site. 

Hao Xiong, 1553 Greystone Drive, expressed concern over the loss of the property value and the views from his home.

Ying Mu Xiong, 1553 Greystone Drive, expressed concern about the safety of having a water tower and cell antennas so close to homes with small children, such as her own.

Eric De La Cruz, 1552 Greystone Drive, noted that about 60 signatures were collected on a petition opposing the project. 

Brad Lazar, 7789 Sawyer Court, asked whether or not there are ways in which water pressure can be created other than with gravity, if another site could be found or created to meet the specifics desired, and whether or not any berms, etc. will be create to enhance the appearance of the project. 

Brian Green, 1504 Greystone Court, asked what avenues could be taken by residents if they were not in agreement with the recommendation made that evening. 

Mr. Sula responded by explaining that the PZB is an advisory body and that they will make a recommendation regarding the proposed petitions, but ultimately the decision will be made by the Village Board. 

Mr. Winter added that this evening, however, would be the only public hearing on the matter--and, that the results of this hearing would be presented to the Village Board before they made their decision. 

Todd Cotter, 1428 Sutton Place, asked the board members to think about whether or not they would want a water tower in their respective back yards.     

David Pettinger, 1601 St. Clair Court, asked if this project is the result of the loss of another village water tower due to lack of maintenance. 

Mr. Sula asked for clarification, and Mr. Pettinger cited a newspaper article he had read regarding the loss of antennas on a current water tower due to lack of maintenance.   

Tojonath Kasturi, 1605 Silvergate Court, expressed concern over potential health hazards and loss of property values as a result of the project.

As there were no more questions/comments, Mr. Sula closed the floor to the Public.

In regards to the question about the loss of another Village water tower, Mr. Ziegler stated that the gentleman is probably referring to the Village’s plans to remove the water tower at Fire Station 1.  That tower is proposed to be removed because it has a very small capacity (200,000 gallons), sits at one of the lowest spots in the entire Village, and is due for maintenance that does not pass the cost-benefit analysis.   

In regards to lights/illumination on the new tower, Mr. Ziegler stated that a beacon light would not be required under F.A.A. regulations (not even with the cellular tower) and that there were no plans for illumination of any kind. 

In regards to notice given to residents in neighborhood of the proposed hearing, Mr. Ziegler stated that Illinois State Statute requires notice be given in the via newspaper, and that the Village took further steps by sending out letters to all property owners located within 500 feet of the subject property, as well as posting signs on the property alerting people to the date of the hearing.  The gentleman that did not obtain notice was outside the 500 foot notice area.

In regards to access to the site, Mr. Ziegler stated that access during construction would be taken off of Rollins Road.  After construction, access for maintenance of the site/improvements would be taken from Knowles Road.  A driveway extension would be provided to the site from the south.

Mr. Ziegler stated that water stored in the tank would be for the sole purpose of serving customers in Gurnee, and providing water pressure to those customers, as well.

In regards to health concerns from the cell antennas/radio frequencies, federal law prohibits local communities from considering/denying cell tower antenna locations due to health concerns associated with radio frequencies.  The FCC has standards that have to be met as part of their review/licensing, and therefore, require that local governments defer these considerations to the Federal government.

Mr. Ziegler stated that the alternative to creating water pressure via gravity is to pump the water for greater pressure.  However, he noted that this is more expensive and less effective.  He noted that there is an existing berm on the site, and that a combination of existing landscape material, as well as additional material to fill in gaps, will help screen the ground level equipment. 

In regards to concerns about area residents shouldering the brunt of development and infrastructure improvements, Mr. Ziegler pointed out that the development in the area was approved as a Planned Unit Development.  At the time that Greystone was approved, the commercial was also planned, as well as the extension of Rollins Road.  The Com Ed high power lines have been there since before any of the development.  The only real difference between what was planned and what developed in the area is that the commercial/retail parcel at the southwest corner of Grand Avenue and Rollins Road developed as a medical office building, versus commercial retail.  However, office is generally seen as a lower intensity use that retail and even with the approved commercial PUD, office uses were allowed by right.

 Mr. Ziegler stated that low pressure areas have been reported throughout the entire area of the proposed site.  He also noted that alternates sites considered were mostly rejected due to the presence of wetlands, poor access to water mains, and elevations.

Mr. Ohanian asked about the site north, across Rollins Road, of the proposed site.

Mr. Ziegler responded that the site is privately held and is a smaller site. 

Mr. Ohanian asked if it would be possible to use that site.

Mr. Ziegler noted that it is required to be reserved for land-banked parking for the medical office building to the north (North Shore Health).

Mr. Ohanian then asked about the property west of the site.

Mr. Ziegler stated that some of this property is owned by LCDOT and some was owned by the Devries.  Mr. Ziegler stated that the proposed site was deemed the best site.

Mr. Sula clarified that the property had been purchased for this intent from the start. 

Mr. Drake asked Mr. Ziegler to describe the impact of not building the new water tower. 

Mr. Ziegler responded by noting complaints about the current level of service and predictions based on current water usage.  He added that combinations of events could result in dangerously low water pressures from both water quality and fire suppression perspectives.

Mr. McFarlane again asked about the property west of the proposed site, and whether or not the proposed tower--as well as other plans--has/have been made to accommodate potential growth in the area.

Mr Ziegler stated that the land bounded by US Rte 45, Rollins, and IL Rte 132 was incorporated into the Village’s Sewer Service Area under the condition that no new residential uses be approved within those boundaries. The additional capacity in this tower would accommodate the new developable area.

Mr. Sula suggested that a motion would be in order.

Mr. Nordentoft advanced a motion, seconded by Ms. Salmons, to forward a favorable recommendation to the Village Board on the Village’s petition to rezone an approximate 1.0 acre parcel located directly south of 1525 and 1511 Knowles Road from R-3 PUD to P. 

Roll Call Vote:

Ayes: Sula, Nordentoft, Ohanian, Salmons, McFarlane, and Drake

Nays: None

Abstain: None

Motion Carried: 6-0-0

After consultation with Mr. Winter, Mr. Sula decided that separate motions be made--one to address the issue of the water tower, and the other to address the issue of the cell tower/antenna--in the order in which they would be installed.

Mr. McFarlane made a motion, seconded by Mr. Drake, to forward a favorable recommendation to the Village Board on the Village’s petition for a Special Use Permit to allow the construction of a 170-tall monopole with antennas, as presented this evening, with the condition that it be removed no later than six months after the installation of the new water tower.  

Roll Call Vote:

Ayes: Sula, Salmons, McFarlane, and Drake

Nays: Ohanian, Nordentoft

Abstain: None

Motion Carried: 4-2-0

Mr. McFarlane made a motion, seconded by Ms. Salmons, to forward a favorable recommendation to the Village Board on the Village’s petition for a Special Use Permit to allow the construction of a 175-foot tall elevated water storage tank, as present this evening, subject to the condition that the site be fenced and landscaped as necessary and appropriate to screen the neighborhood as best as possible. 

Prior to Mr. Nordentoft’s vote, he explained that he did not feel that the standards for a Special Use Permit had been satisfied.

Roll Call Vote:

Ayes: Sula, Salmons, and Drake

Nays: Nordentoft, Ohanian, and McFarlane

Abstain: None

Tie Vote: 3-3-0

Mr. Sula suggested to those among to public wishing to follow this matter keep abreast through the Village Listserv, talking with staff, viewing public postings, etc.  

A member of the public audience inquired as to what procedures would follow next--particularly, in regards to added conditions in the motions.   

Mr. Winter responded that the Village Board would have to consider those conditions when voting.           

7.  Future Meeting Dates

a. Special Meeting of the PZB on June 25, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. to review the draft of the Zoning


b. Regular Meeting of the PZB on July 2, 2014 

8.  Adjournment

A motion was made by Mr. Ohanian, seconded by Mr. McFarlane, to adjourn the meeting.

Voice vote:

All "Ayes", no "Nays", none abstaining

Motion carried: 6-0-0

The meeting was adjourned at 8:40 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Joann Metzger
Planning and Zoning Board Secretary